For many of us in Canada, we celebrate this Sunday as a happy day, if we choose to believe it so. On a cultural level we have come through a deeply religious week, filled with images of revelation and salvation: Ramadan celebrates Gabriel revealing the Quaran; Passover celebrates the Israelites’ liberation from slavery; Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus following his crucifixion.
Let us hope the messages of this last week are embraced as being spiritual as well as cultural. So easily, in our prayers and celebrations, we forget that celebrations of religious culture have not resulted in salvation from being trampled underfoot by the four horsemen of our never-ending apocalypse (conquest, war, famine, and death). This week, while we are busily replaying in Ukraine the most recent version of “the war to end all wars”, we are also being forced to remember that our cultures – and often our religiosity – have led us to oppress and murder even children in our endless quest to dominate one another, along with the very earth on which we depend for our mortal lives.
Each of us has a way – widely shared or deeply hidden – to understand the world we live in. For me, that way is expressed as the signal article of my faith: “Love one another as I have loved you”. That is the only command Jesus told his followers before his crucifixion. That is why we have Easter. That is why we paint eggs and eat chocolate bunnies… to remind us to celebrate our faith. Enjoy them!